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What to do when all of a sudden things don’t seem to go right anymore or play up in MM. The suggested protocol might help, try it each step: if it does not work, move to the next suggestion: 

  • Close MM and fire it up afresh.
  • Re-start your PC
  • Try it on another PC if possible. If it works there, than it is likely to be PC related and not so much MM related.
  • Download and install the latest version of Pro

-With all this: it helps if you can simplify the projects/work in which it happens.
-Remove irrelevant layers, boil it down to one map object specifically if you can.
-Try to replicate it in a new GEO, with one new fresh layer, only with one or two objects in it. Or use a reduce version of a database if that is involved.
- Try it on an old project that worked in the past.

  • If you can’t replicate it on another PC, there is no harm in asking the MM –discussion forum to see who might be able to help you, or knows more.
  • If you can replicate it on another PC (or operating system), and it still occurs in the latest version which can be downloaded from, than it could indeed be a glitch in Map Maker: Email the developers.

Common errors & error messages:

Redraw failed:

When you open up an old GEO you get an error message:

                        “Redraw failed [4]”.

This is what has happened:
A map maker “Project” (GEO) can consist of several layers, databases and style files. All your drawings can be  stored all over the place in your PC (or network). The “GEO” file is just a little txt file, it is –what I call- the “shopping” list for MM. It is a list to tell MM to display the files in the same sequence and set-up as when you “saved project”. This GEO file, the project, the shopping list, is looking for all files involved in the location and with the file names they had when you saved your project.

Sometimes it happens that, in between two map maker session, you rename a folder or one of those files, or you move a folder into a better directory structure, you might have even deleted a file. When you open up an old GEO, the shopping list is still looking for the files with their original name in their original location. And thus MM can’t display the file that now is missing.

OK the messages(s), and in the project manager, under “Files” you will see which files are supposed to be in use, what their original file name was and where the were located.


Access violation:
Something is in a twist, either in MM or in Windows.

Action: Revert to the suggested protocol (see above)

Things that often confuse novice users:

Changed appearance in colour and display
Live layer changes
When you copy a layer into the  live layer, MM pulls that ‘transparency’ out of the stack and serves it on top so you can actually draw in it (like what you would do in the paper world). There for this layer might now suppress all underlying information and show things differently to what you had before. Passive layers might use different style files and might take their colour-que from an external database. As soon as you copy this layer into the live layer, several things happen:

it loses the external data link
it will use the settings dealing with “live layer” (Top menu, Edit, Live layer options, eg: Live layer label options.)
it will start using the project style set.

Change of colour after a ‘cut’
When you cut an 'island' into a polygon, the colours of the polygon might change. This has to do with the complexity of how Windows builds up and deals with the screen colours.
If this happens go to:
                (top menu) File, System set-up, Preferences, Miscellaneous, (scroll down to untick, or tick the option): Suppress fast poly-polygon drawing.

Changes after introducing a new layer or changing layer sequence
Everything disappears
Raster files can be compared with ‘digital photocopies’ of paper originals (maps, aerial photography etc) . Like their paper equivalent: they are not transparent. Any layer below it will not show.
(note: Monochrome bitmaps can be set to become ‘Translucent” in MM and their colour can be changed).

Colours change of translucent polygons
It could be either that:
-you are superimposing another layer with other (translucent) polygons on top of the first, or
-the bottom layer is a colour raster file, and the colours of the translucent layer on top interfere (naturally) with it.

If in this last case black lines from the raster file change into an awkward colour try this setting:
(top menu) File, System set-up, Preferences, Miscellaneous, (scroll down to untick, or tick the option): Suppress fast poly-polygon drawing.

Missing work
You were sure you had dome some work in a layer and you were sure you have saved that work, but now that you revisit this GEO afresh (say the next day) part or all of it is gone:

When only the last few objects that you drew are visible, you probably forgot to copy the layer with previous work into the live layer. When it came to saving your work you “overwrote” your previous work, giving this new layer the same name.

When part or all is gone you might have saved this live layer with a new name, but you failed to save your project as well. Now that you have re-opend the project, the GEO file will only serve up the old layers, not the last layer which was save with a new name.

Digital mapping is a complex busines, however good or userfriendly software can be: if you need more help, Please download & read my notes on the support page: “Basic Mapping Instructions”, or call for a course.